Archive for the 'Transcription' Category

Editing Bentham’s ‘Writings on Australia’

By Tim Causer, on 29 February 2016

Work is now well underway on the Bentham Project’s AHRC-funded project, ‘Convict Australia and Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham’s Writings on Australia’. One output of this research will be a volume of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, containing three important texts: ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’, ‘A Plea for the Constitution’, and ‘Colonization Society Proposal’.

I’ve spent most of the past few weeks concentrating on ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’. Bentham wrote this text during mid-to-late 1802 when it had become clear that the British government was to abandon his panopticon penitentiary scheme, into which he had poured a great deal of time, energy, and money over the previous decade. One of the reasons given for the abandonment of the scheme was the ‘improved state of the colony of New South Wales’, to which Britain had transported its first batch of convicts in May 1787. This was something of a red rag to a bull. ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’ is thus both a philosophical deconstruction of the practice of convict transportation, as well as an entertaining polemic in which Bentham displays a certain level of spleen and ironic humour with which he is not typically associated.

Bentham had ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’ privately printed during 1803 for circulation among his friends (including Samuel Romilly, William Wilberforce, and Charles Bunbury), and to politicians whom he hoped to influence. Bentham’s proposed publisher refused to publish the volume, and it lay aside and went unpublished until 1812. (The 1812 edition is, itself, simply a reissue of the 1803 version of the text).

This 1803 edition of ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’ will form the basis of part of the forthcoming volume of the Collected Works, but elsewhere the efforts of Transcribe Bentham’s volunteers will make a significant contribution to the research. Already, volunteers have helped to identify that a third, unpublished section of ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’ exists among UCL’s Bentham Papers; we will use these transcripts to reconstruct this part of the text in due course.

Bentham typically burned the manuscripts of works that he had published. It has become clear in the course of managing Transcribe Bentham that Box 116 of UCL’s Bentham Papers contains, in addition to the third section of ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’, draft portions of the published text and of ‘A Plea for the Constitution’. That these drafts, which are often more radical and confrontational than the printed texts—and the printed texts are, by turns, aggressive and sarcastic enough—offer us an important perspective on censorship, and might lead us to wonder whether Bentham censored himself to avoid any potential prosecution for sedition, and why he retained these less moderate drafts. That Transcribe Bentham volunteers have transcribed almost all of Box 116 is going to be such an enormous help in this task. I couldn’t be more thankful.

 

Marginal contents sheet for ‘The True Bastile: shewing the outrages offered to Law, Justice, and Humanity by Mr Pitt and his Associates in the foundation and management of the penal colony of NEW SOUTH WALES’. The 'True Bastile' was Bentham's alternative (and perhaps more effective) title for ‘A Plea for the Constitution’. UCL Bentham Papers, Box 116, folio 269.

Marginal contents sheet for ‘The True Bastile: shewing the outrages offered to Law, Justice, and Humanity by Mr Pitt and his Associates in the foundation and management of the penal colony of NEW SOUTH WALES’. The ‘True Bastile’ was Bentham’s alternative (and perhaps more effective) title for ‘A Plea for the Constitution’. UCL Bentham Papers, Box 116, folio 269.

The availability of both the printed and manuscript versions of ‘Panopticon versus New South Wales’ and ‘A Plea for the Constitution’ will also allow us to create, and make freely available, online parallel versions of these texts, so that readers can easily see the differences between the printed and manuscript versions of these texts. Needless to say, transcripts produced by Transcribe Bentham volunteers will be instrumental in creating this resource (and everyone who has contributed will be fully credited there, and in the Collected Works volume).

I’m looking forward to keeping you updated in the coming months on how this work is going, and how your work has contributed to this exciting research. In the meantime, if you would like to contribute then the following batches of material are of interest to this research:

Many thanks and all the best,

Tim

Progress Update, 20 to 26 February 2016

By Louise Seaward, on 26 February 2016

Another week, another update from Transcribe Bentham.  Thanks to our volunteers, we’ve had another fantastic week of progress.  We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham over the past 7 days.

15,432 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 91 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,412 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 383 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 10 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 167 427 39%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 196 442 44%
Box 106 233 581 40%
Box 107 503 538 93%
Box 110 8 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 782 865 90%
Box 117 370 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 537 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 144 526 27%
Box 122 306 728 42%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 16 383 4%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 83 381 21%
Box 149 42 581 7%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 819 858 95%
Add MS 35539 881 948 92%
Add MS 35540 948 1012 93%
Add MS 35541 803 1258 63%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 15,432 35,002 44%

Progress Update, 13 to 19 February 2016

By Louise Seaward, on 19 February 2016

Here’s the latest from Transcribe Bentham for the past week.  Thanks to our hardworking volunteers, we have great progress to report.  We owe huge thanks to all our volunteer transcribers!

15,341 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 74 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,270 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 382 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 10 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 167 427 39%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 196 442 44%
Box 106 231 581 39%
Box 107 503 538 93%
Box 110 8 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 782 865 90%
Box 117 369 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 537 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 136 526 25%
Box 122 305 728 41%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 16 383 4%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 82 381 21%
Box 149 19 581 3%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 819 858 95%
Add MS 35539 870 948 91%
Add MS 35540 946 1012 93
Add MS 35541 762 1258 60%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 15,341 35,002 43%

Progress Update, 6 to 12 February 2016

By Louise Seaward, on 12 February 2016

It’s Friday which means it’s time to see how our transcribers have been getting on this week.  Transcription continues at a great pace and we would like to thank all the volunteers who have contributed to Transcribe Bentham this week.

15,267 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 91 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,232 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 382 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 10 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 162 427 37%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 194 442 43%
Box 106 230 581 39%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 774 865 89%
Box 117 369 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 537 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 136 526 25%
Box 122 305 728 41%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 16 383 4%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 79 381 20%
Box 149 10 581 1%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 811 858 94%
Add MS 35539 870 948 91%
Add MS 35540 931 1012 92%
Add MS 35541 741 1258 58%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 15,267 35,002 43%

Progress Update, 30 Jan to 5 Feb

By Louise Seaward, on 5 February 2016

It’s time for another progress update from Transcribe Bentham.  Our volunteers have been transcribing diligently since they hit 15,000 transcripts last week.  We are very grateful for the hard work that our transcribers have put into TB this week.

15,176 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 114 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,163 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 382 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 10 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 161 427 37%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 194 442 43%
Box 106 228 581 39%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 755 865 87%
Box 117 369 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 537 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 136 526 25%
Box 122 305 728 41%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 16 383 4%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 76 381 19%
Box 149 10 581 1%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 788 858 91%
Add MS 35539 870 948 91%
Add MS 35540 931 1012 92%
Add MS 35541 698 1258 55%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 15,176 35,002 43%